Diamonds & Pencils: Become the Hero of Your Own Story

Encouraging memes can fall flat when you’re in the middle of a firestorm. My experience is that problems or stressors rarely come alone. I’m dealing with X, but Q is spilling over, and my heart is breaking about T (and D through K).. I’m not sure I’m going to make it about P….

Do troubles wait their turn?

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#UnashamedList of 10 Life & Sex Lessons Mom Never Told Me [Series Starts Here]

That’s me on my 17th birthday. Woo, virginity blown the year before (with the first guy I kissed–in the same setting–ugh), vowed “never again” till marriage (yikes), sexualized more than a decade prior, porn addicted–didn’t realize it was addiction or problem…

Houston, you still with me?
Continue reading “#UnashamedList of 10 Life & Sex Lessons Mom Never Told Me [Series Starts Here]”

WWVD? 9 Beautiful Life Hacks from Voltron, Legendary Defender

The new Voltron (Netflix) blows my mind. I never saw the original (ahem, Thunder Cats), but 30 years later with my own kids, I’ve been longing for cartoons with solid stories and, uh, steady volume. We even blocked a few “kids” channels since so much was like junk food.

But Voltron-Legendary Defender has been a revelation. Rich story lines, deep and diverse characters, 23 glorious minutes of adventure and self-reflection.

One day my little had a meltdown about biking to school. We were running late so my eldest had to bike ahead. I hated separating and spontaneously called out, “What would Voltron do?!”

That got me thinking, so here’s my top 9 Voltron – Legendary Defender Life Hacks for a little fun and encouragement.

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To the part of me that keeps screaming [Poem]

To the part of me that keeps screaming

To the part of me that keeps screaming,
Or is it wailing and on fire?
No one sees or hears you,
but I’m the witness.

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Sense in That Mess? There May be Hope for us Heroes…

Why can’t I find Corrie ten Boom books in my library? This Dutch girl was part of a family that hid Jews in their Haarlem home during WW2. Betrayed by her countrymen, they ended up in camps and she wrote amazing stories of hope and God’s Hand through the darkness (eg. “The Hiding Place“/”De Schuilplaats”).

When touring the home (free and I highly recommend) the guide pointed out a framed embroidery of Mess. Hundreds of tangled threads hung midair and I longed to shift and organize them to make sense of a pattern. If I remember correctly, the guide asked:

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The Torch and Oven: A Christmas Story You Didn’t Hear

Christmas is a time to enjoy cozy lights, sweet treats, and Dutch gezelligheid – a wonderful word without pure translation, but roughly: nice/comfy/friendly/cozy- ness.

Some think of “baby Jesus,” or making everything just right, and still others wish to fast forward through the season. Holidays can be painful for some so I want to share a verse I’ve never heard at Christmastime which may give hope, especially to any who’ve ever been oppressed. Or maybe it gives more perspective beyond the baby in a manger.

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“I Just Wanna See the Light” – San Holo and The Hope of Heaven

If you read #GodSingsBieber  or God Loves Drum & Bass, you know I think it’s possible to hear/meet God in places other than “Christian” songs and circles. Since my own religious lid has been lifted, I’m free to hear *Him everywhere…

Bumblebee and Samwitwicky
Transformers – Bumblebee spoke to Sam through a radio– why couldn’t God do the same or even more?

One morning my son requested San Holo’s, “Light.”  We knew the artist from a passionate track, “Victory,” so were eager to play our son’s request. Thanks to  #SoundCloud our car filled up with the catchy melody and tender lyrics–ringing like a longing in my own heart: “I just want to see the Light”

I guess I’m not the only one.

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If People are like Trees, Here’s to All the Weeping Willows…

The world puts people in boxes: you’re female so you feel like this, you’re Christian so you think like this, you’re American so you act like that…

God likes to mix things up to help break the social/tradition walls we build between people. Just consider the movie Hidden Figures (based on a true story) where we see brilliant, computer-like brains placed in– not just black, but black, female bodies– in 1960s America. LOL, God is such a rebel…

Hidden_Figures_movie still
Still from “Hidden Figures,” based on the untold true story of the women nobody knew behind the NASA mission everyone knew..  “Genius has no race.. Strength has no gender…”

Continue reading “If People are like Trees, Here’s to All the Weeping Willows…”

Racer X Like Jesus [Part 2]: Life with Passion and Purpose, Speed Racer Style

(warning, movie spoilers!!)

In Racer X like Jesus (Part 1), I shared how you can hear from God in unexpected places: timely counsel from a neighbor, that special song in the store, the wisdom of your kids, the breeze on your skin.. I got unexpected lessons from Frozen (5 Lessons I didn’t See Coming), so an encounter in Speed Racer should’ve been no surprise.

But once your spiritual antennae are up, movie dialogue touches deeper than simple script. Here were 6 gems I pulled:

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Laughter, Joy and Power: The Nitrous Oxide Connection and Tips to Keep it Going!

This starts with a snail named Turbo who dreams of speed. When Turbo almost drowns in an engine filled with nitrous oxide–and my kids and I started getting nervous– I started to wonder: isn’t that stuff laughing gas??

Turbo snail engulfed in nitrous oxide.png

SNL skits and Steve Martin flashed before me, and I checked wiki to confirm: sure enough, the stuff that numbs pain and causes giggles is the same stuff that turns car horsepower into unicorn power.

Turbo Movie-Snail Speeds Away.jpg

I don’t believe in coincidences so what’s God trying to say??

Speed and Joy can go together like Slow and Annoyed, but maybe the connection runs deeper. What if Fun, Laughter, and Joy are some of our Greatest Weapons in life?

Maybe that’s why they’re constantly under attack…

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Love Needs “Limit” To Shine: Why We Won’t Trust God Unless He has a Last Piece of Pie

The garden of Eden taught some hard and sad lessons, including that we wouldn’t trust God without testing Him first. Parents warn their kids not to touch a hot pan, but don’t they/we ultimately want to know for ourselves?

Bieber had it right:

justin-bieber-ill-show-you

“I got to learn things, learn them the hard way.
Gotta see what it feels like, no matter what they say..”
(“Ill show you” Justin Bieber, Purpose album)

(Sure, some lessons we never want to learn firsthand, but maybe that’s because we saw the result in the life of another…) Continue reading “Love Needs “Limit” To Shine: Why We Won’t Trust God Unless He has a Last Piece of Pie”

Choosing Law over Love: A Sad Example of Broken Families from Ezra

This post is part of the #GodsOneLines series–breaking hate and/or shame caused by people wielding bible verses. Instead I want to use single bible verses or events to encourage and reveal God’s Heart if possible.

This story starts with Tears– mine as I write, and Heaven’s one fateful day.

It starts with the return of Jews from Babylonian exile. Their repeated offenses, including refusing to set servants free, caught up with them despite divine warnings. Sure, they listened for a time, but soon after changed their minds, re-taking men, women and children into captivity (sounds like the Moses story with Pharaoh, right?)

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Open Letter to those Identifying as “Christian” in America

Dear “Christian,”

Whether you’re a Christian or a Christian from the “synagogue of Satan” (Revelation 3:9), don’t worry: there’s love here. Sorry to be blunt but with so many “Christians” holding bibles and speaking/doing hate, people need clarity. Luckily Love is the litmus test (1 Cor 13) and “a tree is known by its fruit” (Luke 6:44).

If your fruits are primarily outward like church attendance, wearing crosses, even big Bible knowledge, look out! It’s possible to be crazy about God, the Bible, and still miss His Heart–I’ve been there. Christians can even make God an idol (been there, Ouch).

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4 Important Words that Totally Lost their Meaning, and Hope for 1

Language is living. Social environment, technology, time and the freedom and individuality of every human being modifies our communication. But there are some words that should just stick and if they don’t we may need to replace them. Here are four that, in my opinion, have totally lost their meaning–they need to be spelled out before their weight or truth comes across.

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Goodness Trumps Greatness Every Time + Two Other Life Hacks

God can use anything to get our attention, from a song on the radio, to a kids movie. As a recovering Pharisee (aka, avoid-anything-not-blatantly-God), this was hard for me to accept, but Disney’s Frozen blew my mind (5 Lessons from Frozen I didn’t see coming here).

I recently saw “Oz, the Great and Powerful ” (2013, with James Franco), and it was chock full of heart lessons. Here are three that touched me, and I hope you too. (Warning, Spoilers!):

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